BEIJING Aug 28 China Telecom has
received government approval to test its 4G high-speed network
in a total of 40 cities, up from 16 previously, the carrier said
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which
allowed China Telecom to test its new LTE hybrid network
beginning in June, approved 24 additional trial cities including
Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Xiamen.
China Telecom's 4G network is expected to provide a
significant boost to Telecom's business as subscribers sign up
for the faster and costlier service.
The carrier also hopes to recoup subscribers lost to China
Mobile, the country's largest carrier, which obtained its 4G
license in December and already boasts 20 million 4G
China Mobile received what amounted to a significant head
start in its 4G roll-out because regulators had previously
green-lighted its TD-LTE network technology.
Telecom, which had 180 million subscribers in August, and
Unicom, which reported 296 million subscribers, both use
networks that incorporate both LTE FDD and TD-LTE technology.
Earlier this week China Telecom posted its slowest quarter
of net income growth in six quarters and said it would not pay
an interim dividend as uncertainty around 4G licenses and
regulatory policy bit into its bottom line.
Chairman and Chief Executive Wang Xiaochu, who has stated a
target of rolling out 4G to 50 cities by the end of the year,
said in the earnings release the company "faced unprecedented
uncertainty" due to factors including 4G regulatory policy and
value-added tax reform.
(Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by David Holmes)